Going to the beach is a wonderful thing. It is an escape from all things mundane, and you can be comforted by sand and surf. However, you do not need to drive hours to oceanfront beaches. There are several lakes and parks in the area for anyone who does not want to make the trek to the coast. Here are the best places near Chester County if you are looking for some fun in the sun, some swimming, and maybe a little fishing.
Beaches and Lakes Near Chester County
Mt. Gretna Lake and Beach
130 Lakeview Drive, Lebanon, PA · (717) 964-3130
Mt. Gretna Lake and Beach is a beautiful place in the summer. Be warmed by the sun and gaze at a shimmering lake. Admission is $19 per person and the beach is spotless. You can rent tubes for going out on the water, use the rope swing, and have a picnic. There are even indoor and outdoor showers. Mt. Gretna has entertainment for children, such as a diving board, volleyball, and a snack bar!
Blue Marsh Lake Recreation Area
1268 Pallisades Drive, Leesport, PA · (610)376-6337
Blue Marsh Lake is 1,150-acres of beauty. There is a campground area nearby for day use only. You can:
- Swim at the beach
- Rent a pavilion,
- And much more!
If you like hiking, consider taking the 30-mile hiking and biking trail. Bird watching and horseback riding are also wonderful to experience. Take in all this natural place has to offer when visiting a great part of Pennsylvania.
French Creek State Park
843 Park Rd, Elverson, PA · (610) 582-9680
French Creek is an oasis of an area for people to see nature. This park contains 7,730-acres of forest, lakes, wetlands, and fields. Enjoy a peaceful picnic by Hopewell Lake, swim in a pool on the shore, and camp in one of the established spots at French Creek. Some wildlife you can see are:
There is a boat launch both at Hopewell and Scotts Run Lake. You can fish at either lake for Bass and Northern Pike to name a few. Try out 35 miles of blazed trails, and some are difficult for the most exercise. Pennsylvanians consider this State Park a gem to remember.
Charlestown Manor Beach and Campground
7 Edgewater Ave North East, MD · (443) 309-2656
Charlestown Manor Beach and Playground is a small area that can be camped from May to October. There is a private beach with a serene flair, which you pay $4 per person to use. The bayfront also has a playground for children.
Sit in a shaded area for a reprieve from the sun, and look for colored stones along the water. There is a Key West look to the restrooms and other decorations at the park. Families have the ability to:
- Rent inflatables,
- Play giant games
- Enjoy the warm water
Marsh Creek State Park
675 Park Rd, Downingtown, PA · (610)458-5119
Marsh Creek State Park is a grand part of northern Chester County. This 1,727-acre park has Marsh Creek Lake within it; go swimming at the pool from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day, enjoy fishing, and try out some sailing. There are 18 miles of trails through multiple habitats where rabbits, squirrels, waterfowl, deer, and woodchucks thrive.
In the winter, sledding and cross-country skiing are available. About seven acres of slopes are by the picnic area to sled down. To ski, the fields and trails are most recommended. Use every amenity offered and enjoy life to the fullest while visiting Marsh Creek.
Beaches in Pennsylvania
While Pennsylvania is landlocked, it is still home to many charming lake beaches. With many lakes and reservoirs, the beach is often only an hour away or less. Moreover, many locations offer popular outdoor recreation activities including hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, hunting, and boating. So, no matter where you live in Pennsylvania, there is likely a lake beach within driving distance, making them more accessible than oceanfront destinations.
Know before you go: We recommend contacting your destination before your visit for their latest rules and regulations. In an effort to limit the impact of COVID-19, most locations are requiring mask-wearing and social distancing in park offices, visitor centers, indoor public spaces, and outdoor educational programs. Events and in-person programs may be limited. Additionally, masks are recommended when you are unable to adequately social distance. Plan ahead.
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